The Federal Government may review Act 63 of 1992, establishing the Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA), for better economic delivery.It describes the current Act as obsolete, which has failed to meet the nation’s economic demand, stressing that the Authority will also be self sustaining if it is amended.
Recall that NEPZA was established in 1992 by the NEPZA Act 63, to among others, license, monitor, and regulate all the free trade zones situated in Calabar, Lagos, Kano, and others.
Briefing journalists yesterday, in Abuja, the newly-sworn in Acting Managing Director, Bitrus Dawuk, said: “My intension is to work with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments, the National Assembly, and other stakeholders to get this Act amended. If I can achieve this during the lifespan of my tenure, I will remain very grateful.”
According to him, amending this Act will attract a lot of investments in terms of infrastructure, turn around in the nation’s financial sector, generate wealth, create direct and indirect jobs, and make Nigeria to be less dependent on oil revenue, in line with the government’s economic diversification drive.
Dawuk said his main focus while in office would be to get the Act amendment even as his predecessors did their best in this regard to no avail as a result of several factors.Furthermore, he said that a seven-member committee, drawn from NEPZA and from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, has been set up to look critically into all issues surrounding the alleged diversion of funds from NEPZA to other accounts in violation of extant financial rules by former Minister, Dr. Okechukwu Elelamah.
He assured that an official statement would be issued based on the findings of the committee.Regarding other measures to grow the Authority, Dawuk said, “I will give priority to the welfare of staff of this agency; I intend to build staff capacity to properly harness their potential for better service delivery.”